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The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Dress Shopping – Tips and Advice

24th August 2018

Our very own makeup goddess Julie is getting married (just over five weeks to go now!!!) and we have been going through the bridal motions with her – from mood boards and dress shopping, to hair trials and cake tastings. We wanted to give upcoming brides some advice and tips from our recent experiences ,as well as from our 13 years working in the wedding industry.

Today we tackle wedding dress shopping – one of the most exciting but most nerve wracking moments of the planning process. “What if I hate them all? What if none of the dresses fit me? What if I look horrible in every single one?”. Breathe. Wedding dress shopping should be an enjoyable day out with some of your closest bridal party – so here are some tips on making your appointment both productive and fun!

DO bring people you trust

What is the most important ingredient for a good time? Your closest friends and family. Get together a small group of people whose opinions you trust most and who know your style inside out, pour some bubbly and don’t look back until you have found the one.

DON’T bring too many people

Have you ever heard the saying “too many cooks spoil the broth”? Yeah, well that applies to wedding dress shopping too. One person will want one thing for you, while another wants something completely different. This mixture of opinions will likely make you feel overwhelmed and unsure of your own feelings – giving you loads of unnecessary stress. Stick to bringing along just a few people who really understand your personal style.

DO have your hair and makeup styled nice

Okay so this one sounds super obvious to us but a lot of brides forget. On your wedding day you will be styled to the nines and have the most gorgeous hair and makeup (as well as your wedding day glow!). So it’s only fitting that when you are searching for the perfect dress you should be styled nicely. Even the nicest dress will look a little strange on if you have no makeup and messy hair. Just a little lipstick and mascara, and a simple neat hair do will make it all easier for you to visualise how you will look.

Extra tip: Try working with your hair stylist and makeup artist to coordinate a future dress fitting with your hair and makeup trial, as this will help give you a good picture of how you will look on your wedding day.

DON’T wear fake tan

A lot of the wedding dress shops won’t mind too much if you get some tan or makeup on a dress as it can likely be dry cleaned out, but just out of courtesy we would recommend trying your best to avoid marking any dresses. If you will have a tan on your wedding day and want to get a good idea of how the dresses will look on your tanned skin then try opting for a sun bed instead, or having a spray tan several days before your appointment to avoid any transfer.

DO have an idea of what you want

Pinterest, pinterest, pinterest – need we say any more? Wedding mood boards are amazing to help you refine your vision for how you visualise your big day. Have a look at different wedding dress styles, and see which silhouettes and styles catch your eye. We have loads of Pinterest boards to help give you some ideas, check them out here.

Flicking through bridal magazines (Tie The Knot Scotland, Scottish Wedding Directory and BRIDES to name a few) are a good way of seeing the latest bridal trends. As well as keeping up to date with bridal vogue and bridal fashion week on Instagram.

DON’T rule anything out

Now to throw a spanner in the works… Although we recommend having an idea of what you would like most, try not to rule out other styles. If you ask most brides, the dress they chose in the end is totally different to what they originally had in mind. So the biggest tip of all: don’t rule anything out, you will only limit yourself and could miss out on the perfect, heart-stopping dress.

DO be completely honest

We promise you will not hurt the consultant’s feelings. They are there to help you find your dream dress and to make the process as fun and easy as possible. They will not take offence if you say you dislike something, it will simply help them have a better understanding of your style.

DON’T feel pressured into buying anything

If you’re not feeling it and your heart isn’t 100% in the dress, don’t feel pressured by consultants, friends or special offers to make a decision and buying a dress. “If you know, you know” is the most accurate description here, you don’t want a dress you will “grow to love” – you want one that floors you and makes you feel beautiful.

DON’T eat a big lunch beforehand and don’t expect every dress to fit perfectly

Okay so it’s a given that not every dress (if any) will fit you perfectly, so please don’t expect this to be the case. But you will feel much more confident and motivated if you aren’t feeling super bloated on the day. So we would recommend having a light lunch before hand, or arranging a big feast of a lunch for after the appointment (again, this should include your bridal party and some champagne, because that is standard wedding planning protocol, take it from us, we’re experts).

DON’T buy your dress too far in advance

This is a difficult one because if your wedding day is 2 years away and you fall head over heels in love with a dress should you buy it? Only you can make that call. Just think back to what you loved a few years ago and how your style has evolved. Of course, most wedding dresses are timeless, though the big shouldered, puffy-sleeved wedding dresses of the 90’s may disagree…

We would definitely also recommend waiting until you are engaged to buy your dress… That is probably a good idea.

DO have fun

So these tips should all be taken with a pinch of salt, as wedding dress shopping is different for every bride-to-be. What works for you might not work for another bride, but overall these general tips should help you see what works for you. The most important tip of the day (other than not ruling any dress out) is to have fun. Enjoy yourself. Laugh at the dresses that look ridiculous, cry at the dresses that make you feel like a princess, sip champagne and fall in love with that one special dress. It will be an amazing day.

If you are feeling a little overhwhelmed with where to start when searching for a dress, why not try some of our faveourite wedding dress shops in, or near, Glasgow: Anne Priscilla Bridal, Melle Cloche, Ivory Pinks, Unbridaled, or browse some gorgeous wedding dresses online at Eleganze Sposa.